Photo by Marianne Curtis
Jake Epp Library’s head librarian Loraine Trudeau says the tree in the children reading section of the expanded facility is her favorite spot.
By Marianne Curtis
Over 200 people showed up to celebrate the grand reopening of the Jake Epp Library in Steinbach after it was closed for nearly six months for construction. In addition a record breaking four thousand books were signed out by excited attendees.
At the June 20 grand reopening patrons were invited to check out the addition of 590 square meters, for a total size of 1390 square meters. The $1.6 million project kicked off last September and within a few months the facility was closed entirely until the expansion was completed.
“We hated to do it but once the site became a construction zone we had to close the doors,” explained head librarian Loraine Trudeau. Patrons helped by taking home nearly every single book until doors reopened.
“We have dreamed of this moment for many years. The residents of Steinbach will be very proud of their new and expanded library,” Trudeau added. “We know that they will appreciate the updated new facility and all its amenities.”
New in the facility is a large multipurpose room that opens up into the main facility. Four laptop stations were added along with six additional computers for public use. Special attention was given to the children’s section which includes a large artificial tree.
“When I was a little girl, I would sit and read under this big oak in our yard – I always said if I had a library, I would want children to have a tree to lie under,” Trudeau explained.
In addition the library is improving the youth section by adding age friendly artwork, books and multimedia stations to encourage young adults to use the facility.
“We want to bring kids into a safe haven,” Trudeau noted. “The young adult section needed a lot of work.”
Steinbach mayor Chris Goertzen conveyed excitement the long awaited project is complete.
“The excitement for the reopening of the Jake Epp Library has been exceptional,” said Goertzen, “This indicates the extensive use of and appreciation for this regional facility. This expansion will serve our community and the region for many years to come.”
The contract was awarded to Boretta Construction 2002 Ltd. in August of last year for the bid of $1,9. The project was then scaled down to a budget of $1.6 million and approved by City Council in December 2010. Funding for the project included a $600,000 provincial grant, $400,000 in City funds, with the remaining costs coming from debt creation.
The initial library was constructed in 1996 at a size of 800 square meters. The new expansion saw an addition of 590 square meters, for a total size of 1390 square meters. Restoration of the existing landscaping is almost complete and new plantings and mulching will be completed by City staff throughout the summer.